Of Dolls And Murder

The headline sums it up, really - "Heiress created perfect mini replicas of crime scenes." Frances Glessner Lee, a volunteer police officer with an honorary captain's rank, created 19 dollhouse rooms during the 1940's culled from real cases.

Corinne May Botz, "The Nutshell Studies"

Forensic report: On April 11, 1944, an aproned Robin Barnes is found dead in her kitchen, midcuisine. The gas jets on the stove are open, her rosy hue indicates carbon monoxide poisoning, and the doors to the kitchen are locked, barring escape for a murderer. But would a suicidal housewife take the time to bake a cake? And why is the ironing board tagged "50¢"? A beverage on the table and ice trays on the floor suggest that Mrs. Barnes could have had company.
- New York Times

Lee called her miniatures the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, after a saying she had heard from detectives: "Convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell."

Of Dolls And Murder is a documentary that closely examines Lee's work and our fascination with murder.



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